Thumb sucking

Melinda - posted on 08/27/2011 ( 19 moms have responded )

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My son sucks his thumb. I have never been a fan of dummies and my eldest never had one. Its not that I really mind little babies having dummies but I hate seeing toddlers running around with a dummy in their mouth. My 2nd Son was unsettled when he was first born waking every hour and my MIL kept telling me I had to put a dummy in his mouth to settle him. I didn't really want to but in the end I tried once. He would suck for about 30 seconds and then spit it out. I didn't want to keep having to put it in his mouth all day and night so I stopped using it. (It wasn't really a hard choice as I didn't really want to use it in the first place!) My son has since started to suck his thumb. I dont have a big issue with it as it is his thumb at I dont have to put it in his mouth when it comes out and it is cheaper than dummies. My MIL thinks its terrible and that I should have just perservered with the dummy as you can take a dummy away but you cant take a thumb away. What do others think?

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Raechil - posted on 09/11/2011

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Wow my son is 3 months old and just figured out how to suck his thumb so i havent dealt with that problem yet but my mom took my thumd out of my mouth when i was a kid because she was scared of the teeth problem because her cousin sucked her thumb til she was like 15 and it really screwed her teeth up. really i agree with what my mom did though. my teeth are straight and i didnt have to deal with being humiliated when i started scool. i do believe that would be more scarring then taking his thumb out of his mouth when hes doing it. but when they are really little its just a comfort thing i think. im going to stop letting my son suck on anything when his teeth really start cutting through........

Shana - posted on 09/10/2011

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I must say, My 7year old who is in his 2nd year of school did NOT stop by himself and his friends probably have no clue he did it. Neither son really ever sucked their thumbs in public, but when my eldest thumb sucking son turned 5, my dentist recommended us intervening then. Based on his suggestions I sewed a little "cover" that went over his thumb and around his wrist - something like a singular finger puppet to fit his thumb. He after about 6month of wearing it to bed (which was when he sucked it) he stopped, and now (its been about 2years) the dentist can actually see "improvements" in his teeth shape as he grows...yes he will probably need braces but both his father and I did and neither of us sucked our thumbs or had dummies :S

Melinda - posted on 09/09/2011

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Thankyou for all of your support. It is good to hear advice from both sides :)

Merry - posted on 09/08/2011

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I don't think It's a problem, I think it's very natural to suck their thumb and kids get teased for so much these days, too tall too short too skinny too fat glasses freckles big teeth speech delays skin color name dads job lol anything can be teased about!

Mother nature/God must have had something in mind when humans took to sucking their thumbs :)

Jennifer - posted on 09/08/2011

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Awesome..you guys would rather your children be made fun of then prevent a problem. Sounds great.

Jessica - posted on 09/08/2011

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My MIL said "you can't lose it and when they start school they get made fun of and they stop". Rose sucks her thumb mostly when she's tired. She stopped with the soother as soon as she could get her hand to her mouth.

Merry - posted on 09/07/2011

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1-800-dentist says" Normal thumb-sucking or pacifier use won't affect young children. Children usually stop on their own after they turn 2, and thumb-sucking is considered safe until the age of 4."
"mydentalhealth" says Do not try to break the habit until the child is 4-5 years of age, for by this time, social peer pressure would have already resolved the habit in the majority of children. If the habit is resolved by this time, the permanent teeth in many cases will come out in normal relationship.

Jennifer - posted on 09/07/2011

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My FIL is a dentist. Its recommended by TWO to be done sucking the thumb, as well as the paci. Almost everything that effects the baby teeth WILL effect the adult teeth.

Merry - posted on 09/07/2011

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Dental recommendation is to be done thumb sucking between 4-6 years so it doesn't affect the adult teeth. By that age most kids give it up on their own if they aren't forced. Forcing just makes them more resilient to stopping. Leave it alone and most quit on their own.

Shana - posted on 09/07/2011

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I have 4 sons and one daughter, and 2 of my sons sucked their thumbs and one a dummy (paci) I have found that the dummy was easier to get rid of than thumbs LOL but the 2 thumb suckers wouldnt take a dummy anyway.
IMO go with what your comfortable with knowing at some point it is a habbit that will require breaking and can be quite hard!!

Jen - posted on 09/06/2011

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Thumb sucking is fine. As long as you break the habit before your son starts school, he should be fine. I sucked my thumb until I was 8, which was longer than I probably should have, but I wasn't giving up the habit. It's a comfort thing.

Katherine - posted on 08/30/2011

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My lo uses a soother at night and naps only, I'd prefer him to not use anything but would rather the soother! I was a thumb sucker for years and didn't stop until I had braces!!!

Kate - posted on 08/29/2011

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My son refuses a pacifier, and I tried really hard to get him to take one- even sugar water! Nope. Spit it right out. He does, however, love that thumb. Yesterday I found him sucking both at once! I am glad he sucks his thumb- he is able to self soothe and sleeps better because of it. I sucked my thumb for years and turned out OK.

Holly - posted on 08/29/2011

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yea MIL tend to butt in too much...I have a onsie for my lil one that says MY MOMMY DOESNT WANT YOUR ADVICE :)

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My son like yours didn't need a dummy and never sucked his thumb. My daughter on the other hand is a sucky baby. I don't give her a dummy because I really don't like them but when she finds her thumb, fingers and hand I'm ok with that.



The way I see it is if you are happy with it then it's got nothing to do withyour mil.

Holly - posted on 08/28/2011

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My lil one was a 'sucker' from day one and recently at nearly 3 months she just popped it out and now sucks her fingers. These lil ones are too young to worry about them being "thumb suckers" it's a comfort thing and even if these lil ones have pacifiers this age is not to worry about it. it is when they are older you can encourage them to not need it. The problem is when people use em as "shut up plugs" it bothers me that people are telling me oh watch out for cute thumb sucking cause it wont be cute as she's older, Well who's to say she'll cont and we'll deal with that if the time comes.

Merry - posted on 08/28/2011

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My son had a pacifier right away at birth and he used it not too much but enough, then I didn't want him to get stuck on it so I stopped giving it to him at about 3 months, well he took to his thumb and I didn't mind! I am the type who wouldn't take away the pacifier anyways, I'd let my kid grow out of it on their own so for me the thumb is perfect. My may baby I tried giving her a pacifier but she hates it so I'm just trying to help her learn to suck her thumb since she's a fussy one :) I'm fine with my two yr old still sucking his thumb, he only does it when tired bored or scared so I don't see the issue.

Jennifer - posted on 08/27/2011

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I am not a big paci fan for the same reason as you. My son never needed help being comforted and never used a paci or thumb or anything of that sort. Although..my daughter uses a paci. At first, she did the same spitting out thing as your son, but I am so glad that I kept it up. After less than 2 days, she could do it all by herself. But I feel the same as your MIL...if it has to be one or the other, I would definitely prefer the paci..it can be taken away, but the thumb can't.
I don't think it is terrible tho. As long as your son is comforted, who cares how!? He is happy and healthy, thats all that matters :-)

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